by - 5/20/2013

"A man was born free but everywhere he was in chains" This small phrase has a very deep meaning. No matter how much liberated we appear to be; but there are some deep rooted morals or principles that hold us back from committing something absolutely outrageous. Those holding us back maybe religion, faith or simply whatever our parents have brainwashed us since our birth :) All this heavyweight philosophy comes from the fact that I am sharing with you my experience with "Banaras" , one of the holiest cities in the world.

Banaras is one of the oldest living cities in the world. It has mysticism associated with it, it attracts both Indian and foreigners alike. In hinduism its considered that if one dies in banaras or "kashi"; its one of the greatest achievements of mortal life. Its the hub of Buddhism too, as Gautam Buddha made his first disciples here. This place attracts tourists all over the world including Hollywood stars like Richard Gere, Goldie hawn ,Naomi watts etc. The "ghats" or banks of ganges are the most sought after attraction here. Often getting featured on national geographic and discovery, Banaras is touted as "the cultural capital of India".
Here are few glimpses of my incredible experience....

all set to cross the ganga by a boat. It may seem very funny that I am shading myself with an umbrella!! It had rained earlier and now the sun was scorching!!

reached varanasi!! one of the first things I could not help but notice was this cute ram!!!

Assi Ghat or the eightieth ghat. the starting point of the array of eighty ghats!!

the next ghat: ganga mahal. after sometime I got tired of clicking each ghat separately!!

a cute little houseboat like structure that caught my fancy!!

in between bargaining with the sailors for a boat ride tour of all the ghats, I managed to get myself clicked wherever I could!!

a couple of american buddhists...

finally found a boat that suited our budget. I picked up the oars and took charge though I donot even know the a b c of sailing!!

hubby seems to be even more excited than me!! The ganga was more than deep owing to rainy season!!

our boatman drops us of the landmark ghats:Dashashwamegh Ghat

all are busy arranging for pujas...or rituals

its an orange day,,officially :D

uttar pradesh water corporation gets fancy in the land of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati!!

a windy day...array of fluttering flags!!

just love this picture!! a bird's eye view of one of the ghats!!
a hoarding of Uttar pradesh tourism

kal bhairav mandir. adorned with tulsi leaves. Its said a trip to varanasi is incomplete without visiting this temple.   

vishwanath of the oldest lanes in the world. Crowded and crampy, there are myriads of trinket shops!!      

a cute little bangle shop
sorry for this incredibly horrible picture; I was tired and my hair unruly by the river winds!! I had to upload this one as I am having banaras's famous kachouri!!    
a carousel that reminded me of my childhood!!

a quick saree makeover, paying my respects in a Durga temple...

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